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Prehistory, contact, and the Lost Colony
First part of a North Carolina history text for secondary students, covering the land, American Indians before contact with Europeans, Spanish exploration, the Roanoke colony, and the Columbian Exchange.
Page 5.2

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  • The Columbian Exchange: When Christopher Columbus and his crew arrived in the New World, two biologically distinct worlds were brought into contact. The animal, plant, and bacterial life of these two worlds began to mix in a process called the Columbian Exchange. The results of this exchange recast the biology of both regions and altered the history of the world.
  • Historic Rural Hill Farm - Center of Scottish Heritage: Students will go back in history when they visit Historic Rural Hill Farm.
  • The importance of one simple plant: The natives of America could trace the history of maize to the beginning of time. Maize was the food of the gods that had created the Earth. It played a central role in many native myths and legends. And it came to be one of their most important foods. Maize, in some form, made up roughly 65 percent of the native diet. When European settlers reached the New World, they learned to cultivate Indian corn from their native neighbors.

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Countless animals, plants, and microorganisms crossed the Atlantic Ocean with European explorers and colonists in the sixteenth, seventeenth, and eighteenth centuries. This chart lists some of the organisms that had the greatest impact on human society worldwide.

Old World New World New World Old World
Domestic animals
  • horses
  • cattle
  • pigs
  • sheep
  • goats
  • chickens
  • turkeys
  • llamas
  • alpacas
  • guinea pigs
Crops
  • rice
  • wheat
  • barley
  • oats
  • coffee
  • sugar cane
  • citrus fruits
  • bananas
  • melons
  • Kentucky bluegrass
  • maize (corn)
  • potatoes
  • sweet potatoes
  • cassava
  • peanuts
  • tobacco
  • squash
  • peppers
  • tomatoes
  • pumpkins
  • cacao (the source of chocolate)
  • sunflowers
  • pineapples
  • avocados
  • vanilla
Diseases
  • smallpox
  • measles
  • mumps
  • malaria
  • yellow fever
  • influenza
  • whooping cough
  • typhus
  • chicken pox
  • the common cold
  • syphilis (possibly)

  • North Carolina Essential Standards
    • Social Studies (2010)
      • Grade 8

        • 8.C.1 Understand how different cultures influenced North Carolina and the United States. 8.C.1.1 Explain how exploration and colonization influenced Africa, Europe and the Americas (e.g. Columbian exchange, slavery and the decline of the American Indian populations)....